The International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology on Friday, 13th November, handed over personal protective equipment worth D593,400 to support 17 selected Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in their immediate response against COVID-19.
The presentation, held at the MoHERST main gate in Bijilo, was moderated by Abdoulie Badjie, the Media and Communications Officer at ITC. In his opening remark, Mr Badjie described COVID-19 as the “new normal” and as a result, “people cannot stop their lives”.
“This is one of the reasons why schools are open, centers are open and young people continue to go and learn their skills, but for this to be smooth, it is important that they also have access to personal protective equipment to protect themselves,” he stated.
The occasion saw the presentation of 7,500 face masks, 24 thermometers, 100 face shields and 34 wash hand stations which are meant to serve as aids to TVET and other government institutions.
Yusupha Keita, the Coordinator of The Job, Skills and Finance Project at ITC, highlighted that the items are very much needed to ensure the safety and protection of students who will be trained on different programmes as well as teachers. This, he opined, would allow TVET centers to comply with the adopted TVET protocols.
“I am confident the equipment will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support the overall sanitation and hygiene in the supported skills centers,” he said.
Mr Keita went on to urge all TVET institutions to strictly observe the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health in The Gambia, and MoHERST, to ensure the safe running of TVET centers.
In his speech, the permanent secretary, MoHERST, Mod AK Secka, outlined the importance of the equipment given, noting that with close monitoring, the materials will help to ensure a safe reopening and provide an enabling learning environment.
“MoHERST, in collaboration with the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority and our development partners will continue to support tertiary institutions with their day-to-day operations to adopt and diligently implement the mandatory guidelines,” he assured.
Mr Secka likewise extended his appreciation to ITC and the European Union for the continuous support to the TVET sector.
For Fatou Saine Gaye, CEO of Gaye Njoro Skills Academy, the equipment came at a time when it is much needed. She further assured that they will be put to good use.
The 17 institutions who received the items include; Gaye Njoro, Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), Indian Institute of Hardware Technology (IIHT), Colony of Bees, National Environment Agency (NEA), National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA), Insight training, CZECK BIKES, PUM, STERLING, among others.
Prepared by Mahzouba Maya Faal, Information Officer, MoHERST.